Cumberland (Atlanta)

The Cumberland area (also known as Cumberland/Galleria [reflection of the seminal office park that spurred its growth] ) is a modern edge city of Atlanta, Georgia with approximately 122,000 workers and 103,000 residents, and is a major hub for business, convention and retail in the region. Situated 10 miles (16km) northwest of downtown Atlanta at the junction of I-75 and I-285 (the "Cobb Cloverleaf") in Cobb County, the area is iconized by several modern high-rises rising from the wooded hills above those freeways. Those towers house some of the area's 24 million square feet (over 2.2 million square meters) of office space (more than downtown Miami), making it metro Atlanta's second-largest commercial office district. Heavyweights such as Home Depot, and The Weather Channel are headquartered in and near the district. It also houses some 10 million square feet (930,000m²) of retail, with its focal point being the newly-renovated Cumberland Mall. Although the majority of the area has an Atlanta address, it remains unincorporated; with portions of it overlapping with Smyrna, Marietta and also unincorporated Vinings.

History

The Cumberland area has changed immensely over the past 50 years, at that point the busiest site was Camp Bert Adams, a Boy Scout reservation which still has a road bearing its name in the Vinings vicinity. The area began most of its growth following World War II, but went into overdrive when Cumberland Mall opened as Georgia's largest mall and metro Atlanta's sixth enclosed, regional mall in 1973. A decade later, the first office tower of the Galleria was built on 86 acres of prime space in what became the heart of the Cumberland district. This paved the way for several other towers, retail strips and hotels; and in 1987 property owners formed the Cumberland Community Improvement District (Cumberland CID), the first in Georgia. The CID] , a self-taxing district has raised millions and has completed several infrastructure improvements in the area since its inception. During the summer of 1994, the Cobb-Marietta Exhibit Hall and Coliseum Authority built the $48 million Cobb Galleria Centre by renovating the existing mall there, and it has become another success for the district.

Little changed in Cumberland besides the addition of a few small shopping centers from the mid 90s until the Cumberland Mall expansion and renovation in 2006, which included a pedestrian bridge to the Cobb Galleria center.

Later, construction was completed on the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in late 2007, adding nightlife to the area. The Atlanta Opera, founded in 1979, has moved its base to this location.

Future

There are many private projects in progress and/or proposed, including:
* Riverwood 200: At the corner of Cumberland Blvd and Cobb Parkway. 360 residential units and also a large amount of office and retail space including a 16 story office tower as an extension of the already existing Riverwood 100 complex. Ground has already broken on Riverwood. The project is led by Seven Oaks Company LLC and GE Asset Management. Architect is HOK.
* Park Vinings: 35 stories with 110 upscale condo units and shared community areas with amenities. Park Signature properties has halted marketing of Park Vinings but has indicated it may be re-introduced in the future if demand increases. [http://www.parksignature.com/high-rise-communities/properties.cfm?key=Park-Vinings] [http://smyrnablog.com/?p=194]
* Akers Mill Square redevelopment and refacing [http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/cobb/stories/2007/09/13/cobbdev_0914.html]
* Two mid-rise towers overlooking I-75 by Grove Street Partners LLC just south of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. One 18 and one 15 floor tower are approved by Cobb County. [http://atlanta.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2007/09/17/focus21.html]
* Phase 2 of Overton Park owned by Hines Interests and being developed by Madison Retail LLC to add 60 condominium units and retail shops [http://www.hines.com/property/detail.aspx?id=141]
* Galleria: Day Capital Partners purchased convert|3|acre|m2 for $8.7 million directly adjoining the Cobb Galleria for future projects after 2010 when the current land lease runs out for the stores located on that property. The projects will likely include mixed retail/residential. [http://www.allbusiness.com/operations/facilities-commercial-real-estate/4417549-1.html]
* Crescent Ridge: 20-story office building and plaza on Cumberland Blvd next to the highway [http://www.costar.com/FreeSearch/Detail/Detail.aspx?p=4AB65AEC363AFEF629CAEA9868B159BC] [http://www.crescent-resources.com/commer/atlanta/crescentridge/siteplan.asp]
* 2555 Cumberland: Two eight story office buildings overlooking 285 by the Shailendra Group. [http://www.shailendragroup.com/pdf/cumberland_mall.pdf]

Most of the above plans have a public parking garage aspect included.

There are additionally planned public projects:
* Various "streetscapes" projects to improve the aesthetic appearance of streets, sidewalks and intersections including the installation of upscale lighting. [http://www.cobbgalleria.com/newsletter/summer2006/index.html]
* Adding a I-75 North to 285 flyover. [http://www.revive285.com/]
* Cobb transit station at Akers mill for either bus rapid transit or light rail. [http://www.cobbrealestateblog.com/2006/11/116] [http://www.revive285.com/]
* There is a planned Aker's Mill Trail that will connect to the Silver Comet Trail and the Chattahoochee River Trail. [http://dot.cobbcountyga.gov/cobb-trails.htm]

Geography

While there are no official boundaries (except for the CID), the business district generally extends as far northeast as the Wildwood development on Powers Ferry Road, and up Cobb Parkway (U.S. 41), the district's main street. Windy Hill Road is generally the northern extent of the district, except possibly for Terrell Mill Road. To the south and west, it extends down Cumberland Parkway and Paces Ferry roads.

Cumberland Boulevard encircles most of the area, and then continues northeast to Wildwood as Windy Ridge Parkway after crossing 41. Windy Ridge runs through the Interstate North office park, located immediately to the north of the interchange, and home to the Weather Channel. Interstate North Parkway runs parallel to 75 southeast to 285, then parallels it (and Powers Ferry) across the Chattahoochee River. Akers Mill Road starts in the east at Powers Ferry, is broken by a stretch of Cumberland Boulevard, then continues west across 41. Circle 75 Parkway begins at Windy Hill Road, opposite the I-75 southbound off-ramp, and parallels the road until turning southwest along I-285, becoming Spring Road at 41 (and then Concord Road at Atlanta Road in Smyrna)

The Cumberland district also borders the West Paces Ferry district of Buckhead in Atlanta and a portion of Sandy Springs, separated by the Chattahoochee River.

Notably, one of metro Atlanta's worst tornadoes made its first touchdown in the area, at Windy Hill Road and Cobb Parkway in April 1998. The Dunwoody tornado, as it came to be known for its major damage in Dunwoody, was captured on police video and later shown around the world as the two Cobb County Police officers drove southbound on 41 right through it, in order to escape the nighttime surprise.

Just a few miles or several kilometers east on the Perimeter at Georgia 400, the boundary between Dunwoody and Sandy Springs (which along with Atlanta neighbors the Cumberland/Galleria area across the river) is home to Perimeter Mall and surrounding Perimeter Center, another similar edge city also created as a result of the Interstate Highway System and GDOT's choice of location in the 1960s. The Cumberland/Galleria skyline can be easily seen in front of Atlanta's by looking southeast from atop Kennesaw Mountain.

Attractions

*Cumberland Mall
*Cobb Galleria Centre
*Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
*Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
*Silver Comet Trail


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